Empires Past and Present: empires today

Hosted by LSE IDEAS

Online public event


Professor Odd Arne Westad

Professor Odd Arne Westad


Professor Christopher Coker

Professor Christopher Coker

For the last seventy years, the United States has been the predominant state within the international system. Does it make sense to call the United States an empire? Is its power now irrevocably waning? Are we in the midst of a transfer of global power and wealth from west to east? Will China — another international power that can be seen as an empire — be the state benefitting most from the global changes we are now seeing?

Meet our speaker and chair

Odd Arne Westad is the Engelsberg Chair for 2020/21 at LSE IDEAS. He is currently the Elihu Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale, and is a former director of LSE IDEAS.

Christopher Coker is Director of LSE IDEAS.

More about this event

In this series of four lectures, the Elihu Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale, Odd Arne Westad, will discuss the concept of empire and why it is still relevant today. This event is the final in the series.

A podcast of the first lecture can be found at Empires Past & Present: the idea of empire.

The second lecture, Empires Past and Present: empire around 1800, took place in January, a podcast is available.

The third lecture, Empires Past and Present: empire around 1900, took place in March, a podcast will be available.

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. We connect academic knowledge of diplomacy and strategy with the people who use it.

This event forms part of LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative, a series of debates about the direction the world could and should be taking after the crisis.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSECOVID19

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Empires Past and Present: empires today.

A video of this event is available to watch at Empires Past and Present: empires today.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

Live captions

Automated live captions will be available at this webinar. Once you join the Zoom webinar, you will be able to show or hide the subtitles by clicking on the “Live Transcript - CC” button, from where you can also change the font size and choose to view the full transcript. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription, and is not 100% accurate.


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1-2 working days after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online.

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From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.

This event will be streamed live on Facebook


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